Alex Palou wins, adds to lead in IndyCar points standings

ELKHART LAKE, Wis. -- Alex Palou built on his commanding lead in the IndyCar points standings by winning Sunday at Road America for his third title in his past four events.

Palou won for Chip Ganassi Racing by 4.5610 seconds over Team Penske's Josef Newgarden, who won at Road America last year. Arrow McLaren's Pato O'Ward was third, Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon fourth and Andretti Autosport's Colton Herta fifth.

It was the 250th overall team win for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Palou's title follows victories on May 13 at the Indianapolis road course and on June 4 at Detroit. He has a 74-point lead in the points standings over Ganassi teammate Marcus Ericsson, the biggest margin anyone has owned in three years.

"Yeah, we've had really good results so far," Palou said. "We're good in points so far, but IndyCar, you never know."

Palou's weekend finished much better than it started. He spun out in a Saturday morning practice, hitting the tire barrier with the right side of his car.

But after the team worked to rebuild his car later that day, Palou finished third in qualifying to put himself in position for another victory.

Palou is seeking his second IndyCar series title in three years after winning the crown in 2021. Will Power is the defending series champion.

Herta owned the pole position and led most of the way, but a late pit decision caused him to fade down the stretch.

Herta was in front when he went to pit road on the 40th lap, one lap before the rest of the lead group. Herta remained ahead of the competitors who pitted a lap later but had a much more precarious fuel situation.

That enabled Palou to gradually close the gap before finally overtaking him on the 49th of 55 laps on the 4.014-mile, 14-turn course.

Herta continued to fall back in the pack the rest of the way before settling for fifth place. He hasn't won a race since May 2022 at the Indianapolis road course.

"It's frustrating," Herta said. "We had the best car."

Dixon's fourth-place finish was remarkable considering the way his weekend started.

The six-time IndyCar Series champion was at fault in a crash with Will Power during a Saturday morning practice that severely damaged both their cars. An angry Power got out of his car, exchanged words with Dixon and shoved him in the chest.

Dixon's car was damaged badly enough that he used an entirely different vehicle for qualifying later Saturday. He ended up qualifying 23rd in the 27-car field but worked his way up near the front of the pack.

IndyCar now heads to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for a July 2 race at Lexington, Ohio. Scott McLaughlin of Team Penske won at Mid-Ohio last year.